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POP QUIZ for a Powerhouse 4th Quarter
by On November 12, 2009

Roger SeipFinishing strong in the 4th quarter is still about your technical prowess, but it’s at least as much about keeping your head in the game.

Here are 6 questions that I would encourage you to answer. Your answers go a long way towards determining how the next 8 weeks will feel when they’re done.

Take a few moments to put your answers in the comments below. Do it quickly, do it NOW, and then watch your email for an analysis of your answers.

#1- How often do you review/reconnect with your goals for Q4?

#2- How many days per week do you begin with some version of a power half-hour where you consciously program your mind for a successful day?

#3- How many times per week do you have uplifting conversations with someone else in your company?

#4- How much time per day do you read? What are you reading this week?

#5- How many times per week are you engaging in physical exercise of some kind?

#6- On a scale of 1-10, how on schedule would you say you are?

Post your answers below, along with any learning the questions themselves may have produced for you, and then watch you email for some insight.

(Jeopardy theme music playing while you think and respond:) )

Be Free!

Roger Seip






Did you answer the questions? Good, an email with some analysis and insight into your answers will be coming from Freedom Personal Development within the next 24 hours.


Remembering What You Read
by On November 11, 2009

Abby Marks BealeHave you ever read something but don’t know when, or if, you will ever need to actually use it? And if questioned a few weeks later about the subject, is your memory vague, at best?

Myth – I can’t, nor will I, be able to remember everything I read.

Truth – You will remember what you choose to remember!

There are two factors at play: 1) When you are reading, you don’t usually know when you’ll need the information again. 2) You probably do not use any intentional, conscious, or active strategies to keep your memory fresh.

So what can you do to engage your memory for longer than a day? Here are some of the easiest things you can do to boost your memory:

  • Ask yourself,“Why am I reading this?” and “What do I need it for?”
    If you know the specific answers these questions, you will read more intently keeping you more focused on what you need. If you don’t come up with solid enough answers to these questions, then you have no business reading it in the first place.
  • Intend to remember.
    Engage your brain by telling it you want to remember what you are reading. Think about how you might use the material and create ways you can remember, like writing keeper notes, highlighting effectively, summarizing aloud, and so on.
  • Stop trying to memorize – use repetition-over-time instead.
    Memorizing, or study reading — which typically means reading word-for-word — is a much slower reading rate than just reading for general information. Your working memory is limited to a few days so if you need to remember something, build in ways to review, discuss, or be exposed to the topic again on a regular basis.
  • Have a good system for finding it later.
    Instead of worrying about trying to remember something you don’t know when or if you will need again, it is a better use of your time and memory power to create a good system for locating the material when you need it. (See last month’s Tip #14 LATCH System for ways to structure your files.)
  • Make notes for future reference.
    Effectively highlight or write notes in the margins of your reading before filing it away so when you go back to it, you can avoid re-reading it in its entirety and you will easily find what’s important.

Wishing you a stronger reading memory!

Learn about Freedom Personal Development’s Memory Training Workshop and Reading Smart Workshop.

Abby Marks Beale is founder of The Corporate Educator, a professional speaking and training company specializing in helping with busy people work smarter, faster and just plain better. Go to

How Well Can You Remember a Face Game
by On November 10, 2009

Tom WeberI found a cool memory test from the BBC that measures how well you can remember a face. The test is designed to test your recognition and temporal memory and how each area is affected by sleep.

Take the Test

Recognition memory, if you saw or face or not, is unaffected by sleep loss. A person who has not slept for as much as 35 hours can perform as well as someone who is well rested.

Temporal memory is your ability to remember how long ago something happened The area of the brain that controls temporal memory can be affected by prolonged sleep loss and/or ageing. So a healthy 65 year old who sleeps normally would be able to perform this test similarly to a 20 year old who has gone without sleep for 36 hours.

The test is presented in three parts and it is suggested that you take a five-minute break in between each part. Each test will take you between 1-2 minutes to complete. At the end, the results of your temporal memory and face recognition will be calculated.

Have fun with this and please post your results as a comment below.

Be Free!

Tom Weber
Follow Tom on Twitter

Learn how to improve your memory with our Memory Training Workshop.

Acting Like a Business Owner
by On November 9, 2009

Leah SimpsonInstead of taking direct action or changing something specific to act more like a business owner, in this article, I am going to focus on two tips to focus internally to act like a business owner.

You will find that, as a result of doing the last two tips, you WILL change some specific things, but the main exercise is in your mind.

Here are the Steps to Take

  1. Block off a half-an-hour for this exercise, and here is what you will do: grab a pen and paper, clear your mind, and get comfy.
  2. Start thinking about the kind of business owner you would be and take some notes. Start with some thoughts about what, in your mind, is the description of a business owner. Focus on the kind of business owner you admire, or the kind of business owner you could admire. What would you do if you owned a business? What would you wear? What would you think about? How would you act?

These questions may sound almost silly, but the more you can identify a positive image of a business owner, the more you will be able to start acting that way. For example, let’s look at what a business owner wears—this answer will be totally different for different people. A few years back the stereo-typical IT start-up company was started by a guy who wanted to wear jeans, flip-flops, and a t-shirt to work. Owning a company meant that he could be as casual as he wanted. However, let us go back to Alex P. Keaton from the great 80s show Family Ties. Jeans and flip-flops would have been his definition of janitor! Alex thought a business owner wore a suit and a nice tie and carried a briefcase. How about for you?

Go through the rest of the questions, and jot down your thoughts. Then, look at your list and start acting that way! If it means you are a bit overdressed, so be it—no one will fault you for dressing more professionally than others. You are in a stickier situation if you want to dress casually, but your office is not a casual environment. If this is your case, how do I say this… casual in the garments people don’t see! Wear goofy socks, be radical and wear a funny t-shirt under your sweater instead of a white one. Be creative.

As you spend time thinking about and acting like your model of a business owner, you will find that your other actions will follow suit, too.

Be Free!

Leah Simpson

Video – The Extra Degree
by On November 6, 2009

At 211º water is hot. At 212º, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive. The one extra degree makes the difference.

This simple analogy reflects the ultimate definition of excellence. Because it’s the one extra degree of effort, in business and life, that can separate the good from the great.

ventolin hfa my canadain pharmacy

with friends and as a parent. Great quotes and great stories illustrate the 212º concept in a memorable format. A warning… once you read it, it will be hard to forget.

212: The Extra Degree Book

Outside the Box Thankfulness Contest
by On November 5, 2009

Eric PlantenbergHappy November! As Thanksgiving is several weeks away, this month’s contest focuses on gratitude.

When it comes to giving thanks and being grateful for the people, places and things in our lives, there are some obvious items that are usually ranked first on most people’s lists. Family, health, food, clothing, housing, job, church/spirituality and good friends regularly top the lists.

For this year’s contest, we want to go past the obvious and explore some the lesser-mentioned items that we are grateful for.

The question to answer this month is:

What 3 “outside of the box” items are you truly thankful for and WHY?

For example, I am truly grateful for my sleeping bag, the Internet and my bike. My sleeping bag consistently kept me warm in sub zero temperatures in Tibet last month, the internet allows me to stay connected with friends all over the world and my bike helps me stay in shape and riding it never seems like dreary exercise.

I encourage you to ask this question to others this month and at your Thanksgiving dinner to learn more about your family and friends. Have them submit their answers as well.

Focusing on things that I am grateful for seems to attract more goodness in my life, and I certainly feel better about how life is moving along. Share some of your gratitude list and see if you notice more and more things you are grateful for.

To be considered for a prize, you must list 3 things. Winners will be based on out-of-the-box-thinking and the reason behind their answers.


First Place:
The Art of Exceptional Living Audio CD Set

Second Place:
Expect Success Book

Third Place:
Freedom Personal Development Water Bottle

All winners will also receive a Blue Light-up Pen and Be Free Sticker.

The deadline to enter is Monday, November 30, 2009. Winners will be announced on the blog and emailed on Wednesday, December 2, 2009.

Be Free!

Eric Plantenberg

Lessons You can Learn from a Dog to Live a Fulfilling Life
by On November 4, 2009

happy-dogHere is a short story from a veterinarian on the purpose of a dog’s life he learned from a six-year-old. After the story, there are 16 life lessons that will lead to a fulfilling life – enjoy!
Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, we are all very much attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ‘‘I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?”

The six-year-old continued, ”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

16 Life Lessons to Learn from a Dog

If a dog was your teacher you would learn things like:

1. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
2. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
3. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
4. Take naps.
5. Stretch before rising.
6. Run, romp, and play daily.
7. Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
8. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
9. On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
10. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
11. When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
12. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
13. Be loyal.
14. Never pretend to be something you’re not.
15. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
16. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Be Free!

Top 10 Tips on How to Stay Positive When the Things are Negative
by On November 3, 2009

Positive AttitudeHaving and maintaining a positive attitude is vital for success in life and business. Zig Ziglar gets it right when he says, “It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.”

Sure you need skills, but you can learn skills – in fact a positive attitude will make it much more likely that you will learn the skills necessary to succeed. If you take two people with an equal skill set the person with the better attitude will win.

Unfortunately it is not always easy to stay positive and keep a good attitude. As things go wrong throughout your day, it is easy to let negative thoughts start to take over. Thankfully there are many things that you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. These are things that you can do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to make sure you keep your positive focus.

  1. Read Positive and Inspiring Books
    One of the best ways to maintain a positive attitude is by reading positive books. These books serve to encourage you, inspire you, and teach you. Reading requires that you sit still and focus, and by focusing on something positive it helps you to keep a positive mindset throughout the day.
  2. Listen to Podcasts/CDs/mp3s
    The advantage of listening to podcasts, mp3s or CDs on the go. You can listen to motivating podcasts while you clean your house, exercise, or on a flight. In your car, you can play encouraging compact disks that help you make better use of your commute. Listening to recordings from people like Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, or John Maxwell can both teach and inspire you.
  3. Wake up Early
    One of the best ways to help you maintain a positive attitude is to create the habit of waking up early. Waking up early allows you to get a head start on the day. You can prepare for work and start your day without feeling rushed. You can get a head start on important projects before the rest of the world is awake to interrupt you. You can spend time reading or in prayer or meditation. I start each day by listening to a 10 minute motivational podcast.
  4. Exercise
    Very few things in life leverage your time as much as exercise. Obviously it makes a difference for your physical health, but it also has significant benefits to your mental health. Exercise is useful to combat depression and to improve overall positive mood. Further, if you exercise early in the morning you can go through your day knowing that you have already completed the most valuable activity you had to do!
  5. Plan Your Week and Day
    Having a clear plan to your day and to your week can go a long way to helping you maintain a positive attitude. By knowing what you want to accomplish you will be able to focus on your important life priorities. A weekly plan allows you to match your long-term goals to your weekly accomplishments. Your daily plan allows you complete the activities you need to do so that you meet your weekly goals.
  6. Understand that Things Won’t Always Go as Planned
    If you plan and expect everything in life will go as you planned, you will be quickly disappointed. One of the keys to maintaining a positive attitude is to understand that things will go wrong. If you expect things to go wrong, you won’t be phased when they do. So have a plan, but understand that things won’t follow the plan. The plan allows you to adapt to what went wrong and move back towards what is important.
  7. St. John’s Wort and Griffonia Seed
    These two herbal supplements can have an important role to play in helping you maintain a positive attitude. Many people know about St. John’s Wort as a natural supplement to help prevent or treat depression. St. John’s Wort is really a mood stabilizer. Griffonia seed works to elevate positive mood. Together they are helpful in maintaining a positive mental attitude.
  8. Get Spiritually Connected
    Naturally this one will look different for everyone, and this is simply an option to consider. If you are spiritually connected, you will have a positive outlook on life. This might mean prayer, meditation or reading Scripture. Set aside time each day to be connected spiritually.
  9. Be Thankful
    Take some time and be thankful. Be thankful about what you have, who you are, and what your life is like. Think through all of the things that you can be thankful for. Even if you are in a tough time in life there are many things you have that you can be thankful for. You need to look for them and recognize them. The very act of focusing on what you are thankful for will help you maintain your positive attitude.
  10. Surround Yourself with Positive People
    The people around you have a big impact on you. They impact who you are, how much money you will make, and what you value. They also impact how you think. If you surround yourself with negative people you will be negative as well. You can’t help it. Hearing negativity all day leads you to negativity. The opposite is also true. Surround yourself with positive people and you will be more positive.

Author: Danny Gamanche
Danny is a business professor at a private college where he equips students for careers in business and success in all areas of life. You can catch him at his blog, Success Professor.

What Would You do if Time and Money Were No Concern Contest Winners
by On November 2, 2009

Tom WeberThank you everyone who participated in our What Would You do if Time and Money Were No Concern Contest. I know that I felt inspiration just reading your answers, so I can’t imagine how good it felt to write these.

In coming up with a Top 3, I faced a daunting task. If it were possible, we would make you all winners.

Let’s be very clear here, if your response isn’t in the top 3, you should know that just about everyone of them was a tie, and the ones chosen as winners had some points for a different way of saying things that others also said, or had an idea that no one else mentioned. So here they are:

First Place and Winner of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Audio CD Set is response #30 – Kathy Kyriakou

Wow, thanks for the inspiration. Now that the kids are grown and established on their own….
1. Cut loose….Buy a world class sailing yacht, full hydraulics and navigation tech of course, and sail the world for 5 years with my husband and soulmate. The people we would meet, the adventures…joy, joy, joy.
2. Buy acreage the size of a small state in a secluded spot, which included a private lake, and build a 20,000+ sq foot earth-friendly house overlooking the water, where we could provide an oasis for family and friends to pursue their answers to this question too.
3. Get into space. I want to see the sweet, sweet Earth from out there – not just in pictures. Tickets are available now!
4. Establish a school for kids that nurtures self-worth, supports self-expression, and that teaches responsible entrepeneurial thinking. Our future world needs enlightened thinkers and leaders with integrity and old-fashioned guts.
5. Set up a foundation that fuels leading edge thinking, research and innovation in the development of higher consciousness, human potential and human relationships. Politics is not the answer. “Imagine”

Kathy had the biggest house of all responses AND she made it “earth-friendly.” She also went the farthest in terms of travel as she “went into space.” Loved her school and foundation idea as well.

Second Place and Winner of an Expect Success Book is response #35 – Rebecca Laffar-Smith

1. I’d spend more time reading and learning.
There is so much I want to read, from inspirational books, fiction novels, newsletters, magazines, newspapers, and everything on the internet. There is an abundance of information and education available but never enough time to read everything of interest.

2. I’d travel around the world.
I would really love the opportunity to visit Ireland and explore more of the USA. I have friends around the world I’d like to visit; cultures I’d like to experience; climates I can only imagine; exotic foods to taste; and so much more!

3. I’d establish a write colony.
I’ve always dreamed of creating a haven for writers. I see a small community-style resort setting designed to provide all a writer needs to immerse themselves in craft, creativity, and inspired purpose. I’d like to host workshops and social gatherings, provide scholarships, and play a part in the success of thousands of writers from around the world.

4. I’d experience more with my children.
There are so many things I want to share and show my little ones. I’d love to be able to give my daughter the horse riding lessons she craves and build the ranch of her dreams. I’d love to immerse my son in a range of activities to discover what he is truly passionate about and help him achieve his full potential. With existing time and money limitations the best I can do is provide unwavering support and encouragement which I suppose is good. It teaches them to put in the hard work to accomplish their goals for themselves. But it would feel incredible to be able to give them all they could desire from life, to make their lives remarkable and fulfilled.

5. I’d work more on my physical health and mental well-being.
I know the theory, eat healthy, balanced meals, get regular exercise, meditate, contemplate, and enrich your mental and spiritual self. But sometimes I’m just too exhausted to do more than toss a frozen meal into the oven and curl up for a nap. So much happens in every day that sometimes these simple, vital aspects of living well stumble down the list of priorities and are neglected.

Rebecca had a unique idea in the writer’s colony. Very cool. She also had many things that were similar to other entries but I enjoyed the way her ideas were explained.

Third Place and Winner of a Freedom Personal Development Water Bottle is response #38 – Dan

Wow, I love this question. I’ve been putting some thought this month, but since day 1 when I read it, my thoughts haven’t really changed. For starters, you should re-write the question to state, What 5 Things WILL You Do WHEN Time and Money Are No Concern? There, much better, now here’s what I’m going to do:

1. Build my dream home. 8 bedroom, many bathrooms, home theater, and the works. In addition, we’ll have a large 4 bedroom guest house seperate from the house for any guest that would come over, this way they can have some space to. It will also have a large/separate garage for all the toys that one needs. Also, because I love the north where I live, it will have a heated driveway so I will never have to shovel snow again.

2. As money will not be a concern, neither will having a job to create money. My wife and I will be able to be full-time parents and home-school our boys. This will also have its rewards and options. For example, when we are teaching them about ancient cultures, we can travel and see those locations first hand. Because we haven’t any jobs and no money concerns, we can stay as long as we need to in order to teach them about everything.

3. Of course, good people do good things with money. One thing I will do is start up a home for children that have abusive/troubled homes. This will be an extremely positive place full of excitement and strong leaders. A large focus will be put on growing one’s self. A few things about this home, 1) it will be free for all those that want to come 2) individuals will need to come on their own free will 3) everything will be privately funded by me with no government funding

4. I will also be doing things with other local children, namely high school boys to help keep them out of trouble. I love cars and working on them, as do many young men. I plan on starting a local garage where young men can come, hang out, work on cars, and also get influenced by real men of character.

5. I’ve always wanted to adopt some children, so I will also be adopting a few children to raise.

Now that I’ve got plenty of room, no stress, and I’ve made a difference, I know my work is done.


Dan also had ideas that were similar to others. Especially in regards to helping children. You will notice that helping children came up a lot, as did adoption, starting schools, scholarships and health care services. I thought that Dan did a great job of bringing a lot of those ideas together in a great blend.

Another thing that helped to bring these three to the top of the charts was that most of their 5 things were “hands on” or something that they would be involved with in the project.

Nonetheless, everyone one of you that entered has got a great mind and I’m impressed with how much Service to others was in people’s Top 5. Good for you! Good luck in making your Top 5 a reality.

Be Free!

Tom Weber